4.2 Jacks-/Queens-Solo

4.2.1 Timing of Announcements

1) Soloist leads J to the first trick.

An early announcement (Contra)
indicates strength, primarily in trump. A Soloist can win a Solo against 4 Aces, but can rarely win against 4 Jacks. The exact timing of the announcement designates the number and rank of the trump held. Standard practice is as follows:

One sees from the following play, J 9 J J+CO(3) that Player 3 holds exactly J J J J! One should always play the Jack with the highest information content: From the holding, J J J J theJ would always be played when announcing Contra.

2) Soloist leads J to the first trick.
An immediate Contra indicates 4-5 Jacks with the J or 3 Jacks with a J J holding. Here 4 Jacks are sufficient since it is the Contra side's turn to play and, therefore, they have the initiative. Commonly, the Soloist can be shortened in trump. The play of a small card (or Ace) by the partner after the announcement is a strong signal for the suit thrown off.

3) Soloist leads an Ace.

A CONTRA announcement as this card is played indicates that the person announcing can trump this suit. S/he should play in position 3 or 4 and the idea is that the Partner can smear to the trick s/he wins. Such an announcement should be made, however, only when possessing additional strength (for example Ace, 10, x holdings). In the same way, a player can call for a partner to lead a long suit of the Ace played. Such an announcement is usually made after the Soloist has played a card to the trick.


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